St. Norbert and Corpus Christi

st norbert overcoming tanchelm rubens

The Lord, of course, works in His own ways. We celebrate our faith in the Body and Blood of Christ nine weeks after Holy Thursday. The Solemnity of Corpus Christi falls shortly after Pentecost every year.

Also: the Memorial of St. Norbert comes shortly after Pentecost every year. Because the saint died right after Pentecost. Generally we keep the saints’ feasts on the dates on which they went home to God.

So: Is it a fluke that Corpus Christi and St. Norbert Day always fall pretty near each other? Don’t think so.

St. Norbert died almost 900 years ago, before there even were any “Protestants.” But guess what? He had to contend with people who denied the Real Presence. He helped confused Christians who had been taught that the Eucharist is only a symbol. He lovingly preached to them and brought them back to the more simple faith of Christ’s Church.

The heresy is called “Sacramentarianism.” It eventually became the doctrine of the Swiss Calvinists.

Listen: Of course we love all our brother and sister Christians. We rejoice to call them brothers and sisters in the Lord. But sometimes we have to ask them: Which part of the ‘This is my Body’ and ‘This is my Blood’ don’t you get?

Not that we claim to understand it. We most certainly do not understand it. We believe in it, and we trust that we will understand all when we get to heaven, please God.